Cuts to the National Institutes of Health budget affect both investigators who have existing grants — which will receive one percent less than in 2010 — and those applying for funding.
From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.
Two large studies published in the past two months have found that traits linked to autism are widely distributed in the general population. Although about 1 in 100 children is diagnosed with autism, up to 30 percent of people may have at least one of the traits associated with the disorder.
Few scientists have a career that spans as wide a spectrum in autism research as Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. And fewer still garner effusive compliments from those who don’t agree with them.
Children with autism who participate in a specialized drama program show improvements in face identification and theory of mind, the ability to infer what others are thinking, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Family support groups may be the best messengers to convey the urgent need for brain tissue in autism research, say scientists struggling with inadequate resources.